Tribeca 2012: Morgan Spurlock Talks 'Mansome,' New Fiction Project


Morgan Spurlock interviews actors such as Jason Bateman, Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd about changing standards of manliness in this jokey Spotlight doc that analyzes the new-millennium male obsession with spa treatments and manscaping.

The stunt-loving director shaved off his mustache during a screening of his latest documentary, which centers on male grooming.

Among the buzziest films at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, Morgan Spurlock's Mansome explores the surprisingly complex world of male grooming, with special regard to the question: "What makes a man?"

Spurlock, who recently shaved his signature mustache for charity, only to re-grow it afterward, pulled another such stunt at Saturday's screening of the documentary by shaving off his 'stache backstage, mid-movie.

"I feel like, you know one of those hairless dogs?" he told THR afterward. "That's what it feels like ... those naked, weird, hairless dogs."

Spurlock directs Mansome, in which he also stars, and -- spoiler alert -- ditches his trademark handlebar (in support of Movember, a group raising funds for and calling attention to men's prostate cancer). Then he points it out to his son, who starts crying because he doesn't like his dad clean-shaven.

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Spurlock called Mansome "probably the funniest film I've ever made," and his favorite scenes involve the undermining bro-banter between Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, who co-star and also executive produce along with Ben Silverman. The Bateman-Arnett back-and-forth as the two undergo grooming exercises (Bateman confesses to envying Arnett's manly voice) appears scripted, a subtle master class in improv comedy.

When asked who he'd let thread his eyebrows (another man-scaping technique featured in the film), Spurlock replied: "Oh, definitely Jason. I think Jason would probably be a little worried about f--king it up, whereas Will would be like, 'oh no, I'm totally gonna f--k it up on purpose.'"

After a string of high-concept documentaries since 2004's Supersize Me, Spurlock will mark his first foray into fiction this summer. Earlier this month, he confirmed to THR that his "very Erin Brockovich-y" project with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions had been greenlit and was to begin shooting “somewhere on planet earth” this summer.

"We're in the home stretch of closing in on that happening," he said at the after-party in New York's financial district. "We're trying to finalize casting. We've got the money, which is already the biggest hurdle. So now it's just schedules. It's working out schedules."

Spurlock was mum on the plot, casting and other details, but candid about his excitement over the project.

"When I was a kid, I didn't, like, say, 'omigod I can't wait to go make documentaries!' I wanted to make movies, and I went to film school to make movies," he said.

Watch the Mansome trailer below.